Bowie K. Kuhn

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BOWIE K. KUHN, age 80, former Commissioner of Baseball, died March 15, 2007 of respiratory failure after a short illness at St. Luke's Hospital in Jacksonville, FL.

Born in 1926 in Tacoma Park, Maryland, Kuhn graduated from Princeton University in 1948 after serving in the US Navy and then earned a legal degree from the University of Virginia. He joined the New York law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher where he represented Baseball's National League. A lifelong baseball fan, in 1969 Kuhn succeeded William Eckert as Commissioner of Baseball, a position he would hold until 1984.

Kuhn and his wife, Luisa relocated to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida in 1990, where he continued his many charitable and philanthropic activities. He served on the boards of directors of numerous prominent corporations, hospitals, universities and foundations including the board of directors of the Baseball Hall of Fame and the boards of trustees of Ave Maria University and the Ave Maria Law School. A dedicated Roman Catholic, Kuhn was a Papal Knight Commander with Star of the Order of St. Gregory, a Knight of Malta and a founding member of Legatus. In his later years, he was particularly involved with numerous Catholic organizations and charities for which he worked tirelessly. A lifelong Republican, Kuhn served on the election committees of the 2000 Bush/Cheney campaign, the 1988 and 1992 Bush/Quayle campaigns and the 1996 Dole campaign. Kuhn was the author of "HARDBALL, The Education of a Baseball Commissioner" (Random House 1987).

He is survived by his beloved wife of 50 years, Luisa; son, George; son, Paul (Carol); daughter, Alix (Stephen) and son, Stephen (Leslie), as well as 10 grandchildren -- Geordie, Kyle, Katie, Robert, Molly, Liam, Ally, Peter, Willa and Nicholas. He will be greatly missed by his family and his many friends and colleagues.A Visitation will be held on Monday, March 19 from 5 to 8 p.m. with a Prayer Vigil at 7 p.m. in the chapel of Quinn-Shalz, A Family Funeral Home, 3600 3rd Street S, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20 in Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. A Memorial Mass also will be held in the spring at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Quiogue, New York. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Ave Maria Foundation, One Ave Maria Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-0373.

Services under the direction and care of QUINN-SHALZ, A FAMILY FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION CENTRE, Jacksonville Beach, FL, 904-249-1100.

Published in The Washington Post on Mar. 18, 2007
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